The past two years have seen accelerating technological advancements and shifting priorities among utility industry stakeholders. The benefits of smart grid technology are becoming increasingly quantifiable, not only in terms of improved grid reliability, but also in economic benefits.

According to a recent report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from smart grid technologies is expected to grow from $44.1 billion in 2014 to $70.2 billion in 2023.

"Transmission system upgrades are being driven by the need to interconnect offshore or remote wind and solar farms, as well as ongoing electrification across Asia Pacific and other developing regions," says Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "Meanwhile, government mandates, particularly in Europe, are expected to continue to drive strong smart meter penetration gains over the next decade."

Utility deregulation and increased competition add another element to the market landscape surrounding improvements to transmission and distribution grids, according to the report.

Competitive pressures are driving a deeper commitment to smart grid technology, as utility management realizes the power of smarter grids to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.